A corded drill offers more power than its cordless counterpart. It's great for drilling holes because it turns so much faster. For the do-it-yourselfer, consider a 3/8-inch, reversible, corded drill with variable-speed control.

Cordless 7.2-volt drills work great for driving screws because they go slower, which gives more control. Also consider using a cordless model in tight or tricky spots: at the top of a ladder, in a crawlspace or in wet conditions. Look for these features in a cordless model: variable speed, reversible and 3/8-inch chuck. In the dark about features? Here's a guide:- Variable speed. The variable-speed feature allows the user to begin at low speed for precise hole placement and to drive screws without gin stripping the screw head.

- Reversible. This convenient feature makes it possible to back out screws, especially those that are firmly entrenched.

- 3/8-inch chuck. The chuck holds the drill bit in place. A 3/8-inch chuck will handle most jobs the do-it-yourselfer will tackle.

- Keyless chuck. With a keyless chuck, you won't have to locate the chuck key to install or remove bits.

- Trigger lock. In corded models, the trigger lock keeps a drill locked in an On or Off position. Most cordless models only have an Off lock.

- Battery charging. Cordless drills run on batteries that need to be recharged. Consider recharging time when you make a purchase.

- Noise. It's wise to use ear protectors with the corded models; cordless models are much quieter and don't require ear protection.

When making your choices, the pros suggest looking at the tool as an investment rather than as a disposable item. Less-expensive products may experience "burnout" during the simplest operation or over prolonged use. Also, overestimate present needs. Buy a good tool that will work for you for years.